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Unread 07-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
torqrise
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Aftermarket CRD AC Condensers - Any Feedback?

Just had my second AC condenser fail from when it was installed (under warranty) by the dealer just over a year ago. Same failure location, probably same failure mode: Material fatigue of tank to lower right hand bracket (facing vehicle). The leak is actually under the bracket and is non-repairable.

There seems to be many aftermarket optrions out there ranging in price from $80.00 to $280.00 - for the same combo cooler. The OE is, of course, the most expensive but probably not the most durable. Has anyone had any experience (any to stay away from) with one of the many aftermarket condensers for the WK?

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Unread 07-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
terrasmak
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My dad just had an OEM fail they other day, was 13 months old , replaced at dealer and was leaking at the drivers side upper mount bracket. I would take my chance with aftermarket
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Unread 07-23-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
torqrise
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Here is a rundown of what is offered by the aftermarket:
Tough-One: $155.00
Ready-Aire: $155.00
Spectra-Premium: $154.99
Kool-Vue: $68.89 (really?)
American Condensers: $158.94
Pro-Rad: $121.27
Performance Radiator: $118.57
CSF: $87.26
Vista-Pro: $148.96

Some of these just sound scary...I used to be in the heat exchanger business when China Inc. was just ramping up in this industry. I'm guessing that most of these (at least below $140) are from China. But, on the other hand, the OEM unit doesn't seem to do too well ($285.00)....so maybe these cheaper aftermarket units are more crude and heavy (which is the typical approach for cost cutting) - but may last longer??
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Unread 07-24-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
torqrise
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Ordered the 'Tough-One' for $155.00.
We'll see if I can get at least a year out of it.

Does anyone know if Jeep has issued a TSB or extended warranty on the factory condenser?
My dealer says no - but that is not saying much..
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Unread 07-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
suzieque
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Do the ac condenser and transmission cooler share the same physical cooler? If so, is it possible for one of you to take a photo of the condenser and the connections to the transmission lines?
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Unread 07-24-2013, 10:44 PM   #6
terrasmak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzieque View Post
Do the ac condenser and transmission cooler share the same physical cooler? If so, is it possible for one of you to take a photo of the condenser and the connections to the transmission lines?
Trans cooler is above the condenser
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:23 AM   #7
torqrise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzieque View Post
Do the ac condenser and transmission cooler share the same physical cooler? If so, is it possible for one of you to take a photo of the condenser and the connections to the transmission lines?
Yes..I'll post something by the end of the day.
As Terrasmak said, the upper portion of the cooler is for Transmission cooling.

My initial impressions of the 'Tough-One' condenser from Advance Auto is underwhelming. It came in a totally unmarked box with 'Made in China' stamped on it. At least one inspection sticker exisits - but no evidence of the cooler being fitted to a test rig. It is covered in scale and unpainted. One positive feature is that all the backets have spot welds to the tank in addition to being brazed. My failure location was on the lower driver's side support bracket - as was the original failure.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
terrasmak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torqrise View Post
Yes..I'll post something by the end of the day.
As Terrasmak said, the upper portion of the cooler is for Transmission cooling.

My initial impressions of the 'Tough-One' condenser from Advance Auto is underwhelming. It came in a totally unmarked box with 'Made in China' stamped on it. At least one inspection sticker exisits - but no evidence of the cooler being fitted to a test rig. It is covered in scale and unpainted. One positive feature is that all the backets have spot welds to the tank in addition to being brazed. My failure location was on the lower driver's side support bracket - as was the original failure.
They are separate coolers, and can be replaced separate of each other. At least on the CRD
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
suzieque
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
They are separate coolers, and can be replaced separate of each other. At least on the CRD
weird, I thought the transmission cooler and air conditioning condenser were part of the same "assembly" and had to be replaced at the same time. That is why I was asking for a photo to confirm because I wanted to somehow put in an additional transmission cooler.

by the way, while you guys are in there, you should remove and clean out your intercoolers since they usually have oil in them.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #10
torqrise
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Well - the $155.00 'Tough One' lasted for one drive. The transmission portion of the cooler has a defect and my garage floor has a nice red puddle. The defect is actually an internal baffle that failed and leaked out of a formed hole in the tank that was not welded up (seen in the photos). So strike this 'brand' off your list folkes since the defect prooves that it wasn't even leak or pressure tested when it left the factory (big surprise!). Now looking for condenser number 4. This time I'll spend a little more for a proper brand name product.


Quote:
Originally Posted by suzieque View Post
weird, I thought the transmission cooler and air conditioning condenser were part of the same "assembly" and had to be replaced at the same time.
It is one assembly - at least on the CRD.
BTW - since this is the third time in as many months that I've had the front end apart, my CAC is pretty clean
condenser2.jpg

condenser3.jpg

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Unread 07-26-2013, 07:33 AM   #11
suzieque
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thanks for the pic. In the 4 female connectors, the 2 most forward are for transmission (looks like they have some transmission fluid on them) and the 2 most rearward are air conditioning?
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Unread 07-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
torqrise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzieque View Post
thanks for the pic. In the 4 female connectors, the 2 most forward are for transmission (looks like they have some transmission fluid on them) and the 2 most rearward are air conditioning?
Yes - the top of the cooler assembly contains the transmission portion (top 7 or 8 rows) with the inlet and outlet ports being the female threaded block.

The lower portion of the cooler is the AC condenser, again with female ports but this time using threaded studs (removed - holes visible) and nuts to provide clamping force.

The depictions in any of the online commercial searches seem all to be accurate - which is usually not the case.
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